Monday, November 12, 2007

I love to simplify.

I love simplification. We really do have too much. Too much stuff. When it comes to toys, our house it too full! Today it seemed that everyone wanted the toy the other person had. Nothing was fair. No one wanted to share. So I quickly came up with a plan. Boy, it's a good one. :) I packed every single toy away. The only thing I left out was the box of lego. There's enough of that to keep 4 chillins busy I think.
We had some crying and pouting as I packed it all in my wonderful Rubbermaid bins but I was unmoved. Vicous I know. I want us to learn to comunicate kindly to each other. No more grabbing, mean looks.. or whatever else they do that they shouldn't. If we take away all the toys they have nothing left to play with but each other and (in my plan anyway) learn to get along. There are other benefits as well. There aren't a million distractions all over the floor, the apartment stays much neater and I don't have to deal with the arguing over toys all day.
For a while after I packed everything up the kids walked around like lost puppies. I then suggested to them to play 'otters' like the cousins did the other day. Well, that seemed to spark something. They didn't play otters but they made boats from cushions and from there turned into beavers building dams. We ( I should say, they) had chicken fights and played a couple crazy games of hide and seek. At one point there was a game of Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tag going on around the van.
By the time we sat down at supper everyone was getting along. They talked together more and also had conversations with me more than usual.
At supper I told them to tell Daddy what they had been doing all day. One started to say, "Well, it wasn't any fun without toys!", but the eldest cut her off and said, "Yes it was! We had the best time ever!".
I am looking forward to tomorrow to see what great strides we make towards having fun together.
As I was reading a story to the kids before bed I was assured that it was a good thing I had done. People have too much nowadays and it makes us greedy and unthankful. The story was about a family building their one room home on the Prairie. Here's what was going on 'way back when'"
...they had time to make a wooden door. Ma could hardly wait to have it fastened in the doorway. "It'll be so nice having a real door," she said. "And if we could just have a wooden floor-why then I reckon I'd have nothing more to wish for. Do you think we could?" she asked Pa.

I'm sure we can survive without a few toys around. And do it quite satisfactorily I'm sure. At least I'm loving it so far and it appears the kids are far happier and it's only been a few hours. The imagination is a grand thing.


BJ said...

I've been wondering about doing that too - kind of scared to, but I think it would be so much simpler if we did. Good for you for going for it!

Nikki said...

Good for you! I'm getting really close to doing this as well. Yesterday my two oldest (5 1/2 son and 4 year old daughter) made a huge mess of the play room just dumping out toy bins and throwing toys everywhere and then crying when getting hit by a flying toy. Our playroom isn't very big like (6 feet by 10 feet) and we don't really have very many toys compared to other families with 4 kids. But my goodness. I'm thinking about taking everything away but one bin of mega blocks. So kudos to you for doing it!!

Shannon said...

Hey Nikki, Thanks for saying hello. :) Yes, the packing away of the toys is a great thing. The think is I have to do it every few months because more seem to find there way into our home all the time.

Nikki said...


I did it. Armed with a large storage bin, I dove into the messy playroom and filled it up for donating. When it was full, I found a few empty boxes and filled them as well. I even donated the old toy box that had toys stored in it in the storage area of our furnace room. Then I took out several toys and filed them away for a rainy day, oh, maybe six months down the road. I decided I'm not going to buy anything at all for my youngest for when he turns one in May. I set aside two toys that I know he'll enjoy and that the older three enjoyed as toddlers. I wiped them down and put them in a box. I'm going to wrap them up for his birthday. I am so thrilled that I thought of this. Why donate these toys that the baby will enjoy just to buy more toys? And does a one year old really know anyway? My oldest is almost six and I truly believe that even he will think it's a great idea when it's time to wrap them up for his baby brother's birthday.

Wow, my comments have been long lately!

Shannon said...

Wow Nikki! I haven't been at my computer for a bit and missed your comments until now. Isn't it a nice feeling to get all those toys dealt with!?! I have to do it again today. I always clean house and hide the toys we already have out so that we only have to deal with Christmas things for a while. That creates enough mess without having all the regular stuff added to it. Have a blessed Christmas! :)